Council picks former hospital for new HQ
by Jim Dunton Wed 12th February 2014, 4:15 pm
Tower Hamlets Council has agreed to buy Whitechapel's former Royal London Hospital buildings for use as its new civic headquarters.
The authority is keen to move out of its current Mulberry House main base at East India Dock, which it rents for around £5 million a year.
Its cabinet has now agreed to make an offer to buy the grade II listed hospital buildings from Barts Health NHS Trust, after a review of relocation options.
A report to its most recent meeting looked at a range of alternatives, including staying put at Mulberry House (the council's HQ since 1993) or creating a new civic centre on Commercial Road.
However members opted to pursue the Whitechapel option of 'part new-build' after the report concluded that it met the most relocation goals, and could support the delivery of 230 new homes if the site was not used to house the new civic centre.
Cabinet members authorised officers to proceed with the hospital purchase - up to an undisclosed maximum price - and agreed a budget for design and procurement work.
The decision also paves the way for the disposal of the council properties Jack Dash House and Albert Jacob House.